A farming couple, who were forced to turn away guests from their popular bed and breakfast in Herefordshire, are now hoping to increase their clientele after converting an old barn into accommodation.

Clive and Juliet Williams, of Lowe Farm near Pembridge, were awarded the Heart of England Tourism Council Four Diamonds Gold Award.

But, with 60 per cent of guests returning for another stay, they found the business was turning away more people than it was accommodating.

The pair, who also run a 200-acre family farm with sheep, cattle, cereals and potatoes, have recently completed an extension to their business and are now hoping it will help boost the local economy.

After receiving Government funding under the Rural Enterprise Scheme, they converted a 14th-century barn next to the farmhouse. Being situated in a picturesque area on Herefordshire's black & white village trail helps the couple attract a regular flow of guests, who sample the delights of local produce served at the breakfast table.

Mrs Williams cooks for the guests and uses only local meats, vegetables, fruit juices, dairy produce and ice cream.

She said: "Clive's grandfather, who used the barn for cows, hens and hay 65 years ago, would no doubt have been pleased to see the barn used for such a new diversification venture." Around Lowe Farm, Mr Williams has continued to manage much of the land, arboretum and hedgerows.

Consequently birds, such as greater spotted woodpeckers, and farmland species are common in the grassland and 50-year old orchard. The work has attracted a Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group Bronze Award for wildlife.